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Central London office lettings soar despite Brexit clouds

Joanna Bourke
In early 2018 a number of businesses signed leases for new London headquarters: PA Archive/PA Images

London’s army of office landlords have defied clouds hanging over the market to toast a flurry of big lettings deals, two separate studies showed on Monday.

Property agent JLL said 2.3 million square feet of office space was let in central London in the three months to March 31.

That was 14% higher than a year earlier, and 5% up on the 10-year average for that quarter.

Growth came despite concerns that the Brexit vote would force businesses to scrap or freeze relocation plans.

The bulk of space was taken by serviced offices firms such as WeWork, followed by tech, media and banking companies.

Agent CBRE pointed to a flurry of deals in the West End, marking the strongest start to the year there since 2012.

Lettings included engineering giant WS Atkins taking 65,900 square feet at LandSec's Nova North building in Victoria.

CBRE calculated that occupiers are currently seeking over 9 million square feet of offices in the capital.

Demand is partly being driven by upcoming lease expiries, and expansion.